In case you remember and wonder, I'm still collecting. Each morning I walk in the woods, gathering pinecones and twigs and other pretty things that have fallen from the trees. Some days I explore past the fence and up near the road, but most often, I follow the trails left behind by the fishermen. They lead to secret watering holes one could only find by exploring deep in the trees.

There, the woods are thick with pine trees that are ages old and creeks that have forged their own paths between fallen branches.  Sometimes there's not a sound, and others, it's loud and alive. When the sun is above it creates the most beautiful maze of light, bouncing from branch to branch, lightening the paths, making them golden and twinkly.  If I stand between the trees and look up, they reach the sky almost and I feel so very small.
I dry the leaves I collect and wire them into sweet little wreaths and string together pinecones with velvet ribbon I found at a church thrift store.  They lay in bowls and hang from the hearth and some are put away for holiday gifts.
These woods treat me so well.



I got to the house early this morning, hoping to see what the views look like at sunrise.  Overnight almost, the deeper tones of fall have filled in.  The yard is covered in yellow and red leaves and I don't even think to rake them up.  They blow and land where they want, and that's where they'll stay. I walked from corner to corner, it felt strangely warm and familiar. 

Right now, it's an unruly tangle of vines and ivy and twisted trunks, years of disregard have shaped the borders more into mangled barriers. It's untamed and wild.  The yard is long, almost an acre on each side of the house.  Once upon a time it was part of an orchard, if you walk along the back edge you'll find the pecan trees growing through old fences and around granite walls.  There are fig and pear trees too, they've found themselves a spot to grow at the other far end, near an old abandoned house whose windows peek through the trees and scare me at night.

The views were beautiful, yellows and reds and oranges swirling and blowing and by nine o'clock the kitchen was warm and bright.

Yes, this yard and I are going to be friends, sharing coffee in the morning, lunches under the shade of the trees, hand picked flowers, vegetables from the freshly tilled gardens, stories along the fences and parties under the stars.  
I'm so looking forward to it's company.
and all of you who visit and share with me here, I want this to be an intimate and familiar place for you.  A comfortable and welcoming one, as if you were sharing an afternoon with me in the yard.  This final look is going to stay, so you know you're here.



The fog was thick on the water this morning.  I couldn't see past the shore.  It was chilly and I had to dig to the bottom of the box for the one sweater I brought with me.  It's an old worn sweater I've had since college and hangs on me like a half sweater half robe.  I took my coffee outside and sat on the back steps until I could see the tip of the island.  I watched the egret, she sat perfectly still on the sand until the fog was behind her.  Then she gracefully walked the island and settled into the water.  I could hear all the familiar sounds of the cove as the morning began. 

I watched a documentary yesterday about how the world would be if humans no longer existed.  It was shocking, how invasive our existence is.  I wonder where the egret would fly to if this little cove dried up . . . .

On the road between the cabin and the house is a little vineyard where grape vines grow into a field of goldenrod.   The owners are a young couple trying to live solely off their 5 acre farm.  I admire them greatly and it's a highlight of my day to visit them.  I'm greeted with a bowl of scuppernong grapes and a handful of wild yellow flowers.